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Master any skill or challenge by learning to love the process
In those times when we want to acquire a new skill or face a formidable challenge we hope to overcome, what we need most are patience, focus, and discipline, traits that seem elusive or difficult to maintain. In this enticing and practical book, Thomas Sterner demonstrates how to learn skills for any aspect of life, from golfing to business to parenting, by learning to love the process.
Early life is all about trial-and-error practice. If we had given up in the face of failure, repetition, and difficulty, we would never have learned to walk or tie our shoes. So why, as adults, do we often give up on a goal when at first we don’t succeed? Modern life’s technological speed, habitual multitasking, and promises of instant gratification don’t help. But in his study of how we learn (prompted by his pursuit of disciplines such as music and golf), Sterner has found that we have also forgotten the principles of practice — the process of picking a goal and applying steady effort to reach it. The methods Sterner teaches show that practice done properly isn’t drudgery on the way to mastery but a fulfilling process in and of itself, one that builds discipline and clarity.
By focusing on “process, not product,” you’ll learn to live in each moment, where you’ll find calmness and equanimity. This book will transform a sense of futility around learning something challenging into an attitude of pleasure and willingness.
“Where does great performance really come from? Thomas Sterner knows — and he sees how profound the answer is.”
— Geoff Colvin, author of Talent Is Overrated
“I use the techniques I have learned from The Practicing Mind every day. The approach is relevant for both business executives and their junior golf children on and off the course. I recommend it to all my students because its lessons will help them in both golf and life.”
— Eric MacCluen, PGA Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Applecross Country Club
“The Practicing Mind engagingly transforms difficulty into devotion, offering a practical, easy-to-understand approach that will transform your view of even the most challenging or mundane steps on your journey of life.”
— Marney K. Makridakis, author of Creating Time and founder of ArtellaLand.com
“Thomas Sterner gives us a useful, thoughtful, much-needed book on the often-overlooked science and art of practice. It blends careful research with plenty of enlightening and entertaining personal stories. Anyone hoping to excel at anything should read this. Keep on practicing!”
— Roy F. Baumeister, coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
“As you embrace the process-oriented approach described in The Practicing Mind, you’ll achieve better results in any endeavor.”
— Michael J. Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Brain Power